8 Tips to Help You Achieve Your 2014 Writing Resolutions Before the End of the Year

“If you wait for inspiration to write you’re not a writer, you’re a waiter.” ~Dan Poynter

writing resolutionsWe are almost through October! So the question we have for you is: How are you progressing on your writing goals and resolutions from January? Are you on track with where you wanted to be or have you fallen behind? If you’re on track, congratulations! If not, no need to feel down about it. Even though there are only three full months left in 2014, you still have a third of the year to achieve your writing resolutions. You can catch up to make sure that by the end of the year, you have accomplished your writing goals just in time to make new ones for 2015. We’ve come up with a number of surefire ways to help you get back on track with your writing goals.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.” ~Aristotle

As we discussed in our post at the beginning of the year, Five Writing Resolutions You Can Start at Any Time of the Year, most people like to have some sort of clean slate or definitive start date, which a New Year can bring. However, the really remarkable thing about positive change, like committing to writing, is that it doesn’t have to wait. It can happen at any moment. Even right now! SO get going!

  1. Define your writing goals – Before you get started, you need to determine what it is that you want to achieve. Do you want to finish that novel that you always wanted to write? Do you want to start the process of self-publishing your finished book? Whatever it is, define it. As we mentioned in the previously mentioned post: “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.”
  2. Be specific about how you are going to achieve your writing goals – In order to successfully incorporate good writing habits into your daily routine, you need to set your parameters. What time of the day are you going to devote to your writing? What space will you use to write? By creating specific guidelines to achieve your goal, you will make it much more likely that you will stick to it.
  3. Modify your writing/working environment – If you haven’t been able to commit to your writing while sitting at the kitchen table, find another place to do it. You should be free from distractions. Create a special place that you can dedicate as your writing place. Maybe it’s the coffee shop down the street or the library – make it a place that you will associate with your creative work.
  4. Find an audience – For most people, one of the most important things about setting goals is finding someone else to help you be accountable. It can also be helpful to have people who you can bounce ideas off. Find someone or a group of people who you trust and whose opinions you value and don’t be afraid to share.
  5. Get started already! – Oftentimes just getting started can be the most difficult piece of achieving your writing goals. We can easily get stuck in our heads, thinking about the goals that we want to achieve, but for some reason it’s hard to actually take that first step. We get stuck on the big picture. Setting up specific, small chunks of work that you can achieve easily can help you feel like you’ve accomplished something. And you’re one step closer to your larger goal. Take a tip from Nike and just do it!
  6. Keep a notebook handy at all times – This can be a physical notepad or your phone or tablet, something that you can record those random thoughts that might occur when you’re at work, sitting at your child’s soccer game, working out at the gym, or when you wake up in the middle of the night. We always think that we will remember, but most of the time that great sentence or piece of dialogue that pops into our heads will get lost when you get occupied by the next thing. Don’t let ideas fall by the wayside. You never know when inspiration will strike! If you don’t write them down, they’re gone.
  7. Don’t be too hard on yourself – We all have a lot on our plates in our daily lives. There probably will be a day that you just can’t get to work on your daily writing. This can be discouraging. But don’t let that knock you off track. Just start again tomorrow.
  8. Reassess your goals and outcomes – After a few days of working on your writing goals, you might realize that they’re not working. Don’t be discouraged. You may need to make some adjustments so that you can achieve success. As we talked about before, oftentimes breaking things down into smaller chunks of work can help you be more successful. It can also help to keep you motivated to keep going.

Do you have tips that help to keep you motivated to achieve your writing and creative goals? If so, we’d love to hear them!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print, and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!

 

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Five Writing Resolutions You Can Start at Any Time of the Year

“We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year’s Day.” 

~Edith Lovejoy Pierce

All the festivities of the holidays and New Year’s Day have come and gone. And it’s likely that all of those well-intentioned New Year’s resolutions have come and gone also. For most of us, we’re now back in the swing of the things as 2014 rolls ahead. Back to business as usual, which means the resolutions fall to the wayside. According to statistics from the Journal of Clinical Psychology, only 8% of people who make resolutions actually achieve them. Not very encouraging; however, they also report that: “People who explicitly make resolutions are 10 times more likely to attain their goals than people who don’t explicitly make resolutions.” Now, that’s a little more encouraging!

At SDP Publishing, we’ve come up with some resolutions that you as a writer can start today (or any day) to help you stick to your goals of writing more and maybe even publishing a book in the near future. While most people like to have some sort of clean slate, and a new week or a New Year can bring that sense of tabula rasa, the really remarkable thing about positive change, like committing to writing, is that it doesn’t have to wait. It can happen at any moment. Even right now! SO get going!

Call Yourself a Writer

If you write, even if it’s not your full-time job, you have every right to call yourself a writer. Putting yourself in this frame of mind and owning the label can help you feel to like more of a professional. Saying it out loud to other people may help you feel more of a responsibility to actually be what you say!

Make Time to Dedicate to Your Writing

You need to find time in your day to write. Forget the excuses. We can all make them until the cows come home. If you’re really going TO BE a writer, you need to write. Do whatever you have to do to make writing a priority in your life. Get up a half hour earlier. Don’t take lunch. You can find the time. Start with 10 or 20 minutes a day for the next 30 days and write no matter what. Soon you may find you’re writing for an hour a day without even trying. Think of it this way: every day that you don’t write is a missed opportunity.

Read More of Anything and Everything

Great directors have seen hundreds upon hundreds of movies. Great musicians listen to other musicians. Almost every great writer has a famous quote about reading to improve their writing. It’s one of the best ways to learn the craft of writing. Here’s a great one from William Faulkner: “Read everything–trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You’ll absorb it. Then write. If it is good, you’ll find out.”

Enter Writing Contests

We’ve previously written about the importance of entering writing contests. If you win, it can help you gain exposure as a writer. If you don’t it helps you to get past the hurdle of finishing, editing, proofreading, and polishing your work for submission, which will help you in the long run. Don’t be afraid of rejection. It’s part of the territory. Many amazing writers have been rejected hundreds of times before someone takes notice.

Join or Start a Writers’ Group

Participating in a writing class, attending a writing workshop/retreat, or joining (or starting) a local writers’ group can be a great motivator. While writing is often viewed as a solitary endeavor, it can be helpful to be around people who can provide support. These types of activities can really help get the juices flowing, provide ideas for how to keep it going, and provide camaraderie for like-minded writers. It can also help you with your accountability to your writing when you have other people looking over your shoulder. The support you find could be immeasurable.

As writers, writing – whether it’s fiction, non-fiction, a children’s book, a young adult book, a novel, a volume of poems or short stories, a self-help book, a cookbook, or a business book – is something that we feel we need to do. Maybe it has been a long-time dream, maybe you’ve come up with a great idea that you want to share with the world, or maybe you want to promote your business. Whatever it is, you have an obligation to yourself to do it!

Remember, tomorrow is today!

SDP Publishing is currently offering a great promotion to authors who are thinking about self-publishing. To receive your free 45-minute consultation, send us a one-paragraph book synopsis, a brief author bio, a list of comparable titles, and the first three chapters of your manuscript. SDP Publishing Solutions will review and set up time to talk with you to provide direction and recommendations on what you need to do to publish your book and get it on the market!

SDP Publishing Solutions, LLC (formerly Sweet Dreams Publishing of Massachusetts) is a leader of self publishing in Massachusetts. We offer optimal self-publishing solutions for authors worldwide. From literary agency representation to worldwide marketing – including international rights – and independent publishing, we provide the best solutions for authors. Our services include developmental editing and copy editing, custom cover design and layout, book marketing, query letter and book proposals, literary agency representation, print and e-book development. We provide the best exposure for your book!